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Brady receives Fulbright Scholarship in Mexico

Barry McNamara
5/14/2010
Heather Brady

Monmouth College faculty member Heather Brady has received a Robles Garcia Fulbright Scholarship to conduct research and teach at the Universidad de Guadalajara in Mexico during both semesters of the 2010-11 academic year.

An associate professor of modern foreign languages at Monmouth, Brady will teach two graduate courses in comparative literature at the Universidad de Guadalajara, including an American literature course on immigrant voices.

While thrilled with the opportunity to teach the graduate courses, she believes the research aspect should be especially rewarding, as she will have the opportunity to “integrate two sets of oral histories.”

Brady has already accumulated a significant amount of firsthand information through a citizenship course she has taught at Monmouth, in which her students conducted interviews about the everyday experiences of Monmouth's migrant community--linguistic, educational, religious, financial and political choices--as well as “the sense of isolation and marginalization felt in the rural Midwest.”

At Guadalajara, she is anticipating unique possibilities to pursue research across disciplines, especially utilizing current demographic connections between Jalisco state and Monmouth.

“In my Fulbright research, I will seek an understanding of the Mexican side of the exchange,” she said. “When the two oral histories are read together, it will create the foundation for a richer understanding of our migrant culture and the basis for developing a sense of shared community. It will also illuminate social change experiences across generations and identify future opportunities for community development in both regions.”

Brady will begin her experience with an orientation at the end of August, after participating in a five-week Fulbright-Hays summer seminar program in Mexico City titled “A Comparative Study of Mexican Cultures: Ancient, Colonial and Contemporary.” The seminar will focus on five cultures related to Mexico--Olmec, Teotihuacan, Maya, Toltec and Aztec. Visits will be made to cities representative of ancient culture and modern development, including Oaxaca, Guadalajara, Monterrey and Merida. The project is designed to provide higher education faculty and high school teachers with rich content as they develop curricula in Mexican studies.

A member of the Monmouth College faculty since 2003, Brady received a master’s degree and Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of Texas after earning a bachelor’s degree in French at Kalamazoo College.